Volume 52 1943 > Volume 52, No. 4 > A multiple-edged tool, by Hugh S. McCully, p 206-209
                                                                                             Previous | Next   

- 206

IN a previous paper entitled “Stone Tools of the Maori” I claimed that stone tools may be classified to greater advantage by flake-form and the features of point and edge rather than by the form or shape of the tool.

Specimen Fig 1 taken by a friend from a deep refuse-heap at Broad bay, Greenhills, Southland, affords opportunity for description along the lines indicated above.

Fig. 1 may be described as a splendid example of a side flake—in this case a flake struck from a water-worn boulder. The bulb of percussion is large and the flake shows the conchoidal fracture characteristic of good flaking-material. From its likeness to an ear this form of flake is sometimes spoken of as an “ear-scraper”.

Fig. 1 shows that the flake has been reduced on both sides of the bulb of percussion, forming what might be taken for a hand-grip. It is, however, difficult to regard this as a hand-grip, for reduction has been carried out from one surface only, leaving sharp bevelled edges. Had a comfortable hand-grip been the intention, reduction would have been carried out from both surfaces, leaving a rounded hand-grip. Reduction added prominence to the ends of the flake; hand-grip, taken altogether, is a doubtful feature.

The simplest way to describe and recognize features combined on fig. 1 is to compare these with features found singly on other flakes.

Fig. 2 from Chatham islands is a tool usually spoken of as a “blubber knife”. One side only of this tool has been reduced as for a hand-grip and edge, closely resembling the bevelled edge of fig. 1. When fig. 2 is superimposed on fig. 1 the similarity between the two is seen to be very close in the portion covered.

The scars appearing on the left side of fig. 1 are three in number. That on the edge-line is no. 1 scar. Another some distance below no. 1 is no. 2 scar. Under no. 2 is a smaller scar, no. 3, which joins no. 2 forming a point.

- 207
Fig. 1. Broad bay.
Fig. 2. Chatham island
- 208
Fig. 3. Grays hill
Fig, 4. Waitaki
Scar-edge features closely corresponding with Fig. 1
- 209
Fig. 5
(Fig. 4 superimposed on Fig. 2; Compare with Fig. 1)

No. 1 scar on an edge-line is the simplest form of edge-serration, figs. 1 and 3. Fig. 3 shows nos. 1 and 2 scars in a like position to fig. 1. Fig. 4 closely corresponds with fig. 1 in the number and placement of the scars.

In conclusion, fig. 1 may be regarded as a multiple-edged tool the shape of which is due to a combination of working-edges placed on a favourable form of flake. The working-edges of fig. 1 are in good condition. Probably the first part removed in edge-renewal would be the small point between nos. 2 and 3 scars. Its removal would still leave scars nos. 1 and 2 (fig. 3). Renewal of no. 2 shortens the distance between nos. 1 and 2, a customary practice and effect.